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LIST: HOME-SWAP AGENCIES

Most home exchange agencies are online. Many started out offline as directories for teachers and academics and then became mainstream. Some offer two levels of membership: one for advertisers one for non-advertising members. Some home swap agencies are run as noticeboard sites, allowing visitors to browse and contact advertisers for free. Some agencies specialise in their own country and network with other agencies, including timeshare companies.
Exchange Homes Longstanding US-based agency, (started publishing home exchange directories in 1983, before migrating to the web) charges membership fees for access and advertising.
Global Home Exchange One of the biggest home exchange and holiday rental services, with a huge range of properties arranged in an easy-to-use & understand format. Plenty of flexibility for home owners to get their message across. Based in Canada.
Green Theme International UK-based home exchange site that has been around since the mid-nineties. Founder member of the First Home Exchange Alliance (FHEA).
Guardian Home Exchange The Guardian newspaper has a home exchange website "powered" by Home Base (see below).
Home Around the World Home-swap site for gay & lesbian travellers.
Home Base Holidays UK-based agency since 1985. Good selection of properties worldwide. Membership fee. Also runs the Guardian's home exchange site.
Home Exchange US-based agency with 6000+ listings. Free access for visitors, who contact advertisers directly.
Home Exchanges Worldwide Brighton-based noticeboard site with a wide selection of properties worldwide.
Homelink starUK-based agency, definitely one of the best with over 1,250 members in over 50 countries. Intuitive map-based browsing and comprehensive property details.
International Home Exchange Network Florida-based. IHEN claims to be the first home exchange agency on the Internet. They are certainly one of the larger notice-board sites (charging home-owners to advertise).
Intervac UK-based home-exchange agency since 1953 (which makes them one of the oldest specialists in this field if not the oldest), featuring 12,000 properties. They charge for membership.
Mi Casa Su Casa First specialist Gay & Lesbian home exchange club to set up on the internet. US-based. Fee-based.
Runaway Exchange US-based home exchange site with only a small selection of properties. Notice-board site charging home-owners to advertise.
Snow Swappers A home swapping club exclusively for ski chalet/apartment owners wanting the chance to explore new ski areas without any accommodation costs.
Swap & Stay starHome swap site, launched April 06, for people who own holiday homes (Like The Vacation Exchange, below). The idea is you can swap time in your own holiday home for time in someone else's and it doesn't have to be synchronised. So if you have a week's hole in the rental bookings for your holiday home in Spain at high season, you can trade it (compare rental rates) for, say, two weeks low season in a villa in Bulgaria.
SwapHouse Italian-based, but multi-lingual, home exchange site with 5,000 members worldwide.
Vacation Exchange, The Mainly U.S. homes. Unlike other agencies, VE deal only in properties that are second-homes, and privately owned - not timeshared. This means that you don't have to arrange a simultaneous swap. You have to be a member to participate, and their other departure from the norm is that they get involved in the exchange and charge a small commission fee for helping to arrange it.

Notes

  • US-based 3RD HOME is an exclusive private club for luxury second homeowners, and they have some spectacular properties on their books!
  • TrustedHouseSitters.com is a global house sitting website offering people the opportunity to stay in some often luxurious homes free of charge around the globe. Basically, you care for owner's home and often pets while they are away in return for free accommodation. They have homes available in over 40 countries from chateaux in France, villas in Tuscany, apartments in NYC, townhouses on London, eco homes in Costa Rica, to beach homes in Thailand, etc. House sits can be anything from a weekend to over a year. You can view the current house sit opportunities available on the website but to apply you need to registered and to be the first to hear about the latest house sitting opportunities, you need to be signed up, which costs £19.
  • Travelhoo calls itself a hospitality exchange portal. A longstanding informal club of adventurous travellers and others willing to put each other up.
  • Thelma and Louise an online community of 7,000+ women worldwide, which enables members to meet like-minded women, find travel companions and fulfil their aspirations has launched a 'Member House Swap' service.

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